We are the world
Today we are all considered global citizens with a shared responsibility to care for our planet and this includes all beings on our precious green earth. No member of our ecosystem lives in total isolation.When one of us suffers or is under stress, we all feel it.
Leaders everywhere are telling us that to improve the human condition we need to open our hearts and live with compassion. We are called to think beyond our own homes and consider the weak or sick or frail.
To develop compassion is to learn to live with sympathy for all living beings, without exception. ~ Sharon Salzburg
Science tells us that living with an open heart of compassion also changes the way we see others. We can decrease our brain’s tendency to look out for ourselves and instead lower our stress response and make us more empathetic.
The Compassion Meditation Practice
Begin today’s meditation by taking five deep, slow breaths. Breathe in through your nose slowly to the count of 6, hold your breath for 2 counts, and exhale slowly to the count of 6. Do this for a total of 5 breaths.
With your hands resting on your lap, or on your heart if you wish, recite the loving kindness phrases and really try to generate the feelings of kindness, friendliness and compassion. Starting with yourself, say:
May I be free from suffering. May I be peaceful and truly happy. May I be well in body, mind and heart. May I live with ease.
As you feel the warmth coming from your heart, a sincere desire that you not suffer, see if you can extend that feeling to someone you care about. Imagine a dear friend or loved one and repeat the phrases:
May you be free from suffering. May you be peaceful and truly happy. May you be well in body, mind and heart. May you live with ease.
Finally, as you bask in these wonderful feelings of kindness and compassion, extend the wish to all beings on the planet.
Spend a few minutes allowing this wave of loving kindness to swirl around you and radiate out from you.
Take this feeling of connectedness with you throughout your day. Always remembering that you, too, are worthy of a life free from suffering, full of peace and true happiness.